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September 21st, 1999

[9:45 AM] Universal USB Controller Receives Feature Packed Update
by Kyle D'Addario

USB Overdrive 1.2 is now available. USB Overdrive is a USB driver that handles all mice, trackballs, gamepads, and other input devices. USB Overdrive allows for universal configuration of all USB input devices, or for custom configuration for each specific device. USB Overdrive is also capable of handling multiple devices simultaneously. The new version includes several bug fixes and other enhancements. According to program author Alessandro Levi Montalcini:

The USB Overdrive is a universal USB driver that handles all USBmice, trackballs, joysticks and gamepads from any manufacturer and lets you configure them either globally or on an application-specific basis. It reads all kinds of wheels, buttons, switches and controls and supports scrolling, keyboard emulation, launching and complex macros as well as all the usual stuff like clicking, control-clicking and so forth. The USB Overdrive can easily handle several USB devices at once.

Because each control in each device can be fully configured, the USB Overdrive lets you use any joystick or gamepad with any game, including the ones that don't support Apple's InputSprockets. You can map your joystick movements and buttons to the keyboard and mouse to make the game believe you're playing on the keyboard, and you can do this mapping separately for each game so that it's immediately available as soon as the game is launched.

For games that already use InputSprockets, the USB Overdrive provides all the needed hooks to support the device-specific configuration panels provided by the manufacturer.

The mouse settings allow you to speed up your daily tasks by assigning useful actions to all the extra buttons and wheels in your USB mouse. You'll typically want to assign a control-click to the right button for easy contextual menu access, and enable document scrolling if your mouse has a scrolling wheel.

Although the interface hasn't changed much, this release contains a lot of improvements and fixes. Here's a summary of the most important ones:

  • Replaced all the old 68K code with faster native PowerPC code for maximum performance.
  • Added mouse cursor movement for joysticks and gamepads. You can now control your computer without a mouse, and use a joystick or gamepad to play most flight simulators.
  • Improved document scrolling in all applications. Among other things, the scrollbar closest to the mouse cursor is now chosen and palette support has been added.
  • Added an option to set the number of lines to scroll.
  • Added support for a new Launch URL action.
  • Fixed double click so that it can now be used to collapse windows.
  • Auto Scroll no longer requires a button to be held down, you can now click it to enable Auto Scroll and click again later to disable it.
  • Added a new Auto Move option that automatically moves the mouse cursor to the default button in dialogs and alert boxes (note: this feature does not work in Office 98 applications).
  • One-button mice such as the Apple mouse now always map their only button to the standard click. This is useful if you want to swap the left and right button on a two or three buttons mouse without losing the default behavior of the Apple mouse.
  • Added workarounds for some USB devices that don't properly implement the USB HID standard.
  • Mac OS 8.5 or later is now required to run the USB Overdrive, and Mac OS 8.6 or later is recommended. Mac OS 9 is fully supported.

USB Overdrive 1.2 is available immediately as shareware for $20. For more information on USB Overdrive, please visit the USB Overdrive web site. M. Montalcini also told us that version 1.2 should be available from Contour Design for owners of the UniMouse.

USB Overdrive

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